In the headlines
The UK economy narrowly dodged a recession in 2022, despite growth flatlining in the final three months. GDP fell by 0.5% in December, thanks to factors including rail and postal strikes, and England’s early exit from the World Cup. Ukraine is prepared to use British long-range missiles to hit Crimea, in what would be a “major escalation” of Western involvement in the war, says The Times. Kyiv officials have requested UK-made Harpoon and Storm Shadow weapons to destroy Russian air bases on the peninsula, which was annexed by Putin’s forces in 2014. Chinese police have trained a squad of six sniffer squirrels to help bust drug deals. Officials in Chongqing say the nimble rodents are “cheaper and more agile” than sniffer dogs, because they can wriggle into tight spaces and clamber up walls in “complex environments” like warehouses.